All the Weird Things Runners Do
Every runner has their own, ummm, quirks that make us unique. But some strange runner habits are nearly universal truths for all, see if any of these sound familiar.
1. Tape their nipples
We’ve all seen a runner with twin blood stains soaking through their T-shirt, so to avoid the pain (and embarrassment), we cover the nipples with medical tape, Band-Aids, or nipple protectors.
2. Know where all the local bathrooms are
To be a runner is to unexpectedly get the urge to use the bathroom 6km from home. We quickly learn the location of every gas station, grocery store, and Starbucks bathroom within a 16km radius of the house.
3. Plan vacations around races
Who needs restaurants, museums, or stunning vistas when you’ve got a kickass road or trail race to run? If we’re traveling, the trip had better at least feature a 5K somewhere in the middle.
4. Block off weekend mornings for running
Hanging out with friends on a Saturday morning? Unthinkable. Us runners prioritise our training above all else. Tell your sister to move the baby shower to the afternoon because we’ve got 21km to run.
5. Own way too many shoes
Time to order another shoe rack. Footwear is naturally the most important equipment for runners, and you’ve got to be well stocked. If you don’t have at least 10 pair of running shoes sitting around, then what are you doing?
6. Eat too many carbs
Our friends may be ordering salads and salmon, but that just won’t cut it for us. Especially when training for marathons and ultras, it’s going to be pasta, chips, and dinner rolls, please and thank you.
7. Carry around toilet paper
There’s no shame here. Sometimes you’ve got a long run out in the country and you know there won’t be a bathroom around, so you have to plan ahead. We carry a little TP so we can avoid foraging for leaves.
8. Wear finisher medals to brunch
We finished the race. We earned the medal. So why wouldn’t we wear it to brunch…and dinner…and the hotel continental breakfast the next morning…and on the plane…and to the office on Monday…and possibly Tuesday.
Money doesn’t grow on trees, and we’re going to be spending a big chunk of change on commemorative hoodies, multi-coloured shoelaces, and gels, so we got to save up some coin.
We are proud of being runners, so it’s only natural we frame a few race bibs to hang around the house. Add a medal rack and some finish photos to make the whole guest bedroom road-race themed.
Which side streets connect? What house has the dog? Where does that park trail lead to? You know because you’ve run every inch of your town a hundred times over.
We could just sit for two hours with our friends munching on scones, but that’s perfectly good running time, so let’s jog 10km at a conversational pace instead.
Nothing can divide the running club quicker than asking if running shoes should be well padded or not. We have opinions and can talk for at least a half hour uninterrupted about every variation of shoe.
Some people watch Netflix when they’re drained. Not us! Nothing reinvigorates the runner like more running. After a tough day at work, a quick loop around the park will have us feeling right as rain.
Get out the spreadsheets and the timetables. We don’t want to have an emergency bathroom break in a race, so we are strategising just when to drink that coffee and clear the system.
From the car, this road may seem flat, but we runners know it’s actually a series of ups and downs. A bump turns into a mountain at the end of a long run, and we’re acutely aware of just where every bump is.
If you get a shirt at every race, and you run a lot of races, you’re going to have a few drawers full of race shirts very quickly. Maybe now is the time to turn them into a quilt?
The quickest way to spot a runner at the beach is scanning for the black toenailed and toenail-less. If you run long distances, they’re sure to fall off and leave you with some funky looking feet.
Nothing gets us going like talking about our busted ankles, wobbly knees, and achy backs. A room full of runners has more tales of medical emergencies than a season of Grey’s Anatomy.
20. Spend way too much time foam rolling
Feeling sore after a run? Roll it out. Feel stiff before a run? Roll it out. Feeling bored on a Friday night? Roll it out. Never a bad time to lay on a tube of foam.
Baby pictures are nice and all, but have you ever marvelled over some perfectly symmetrical splits? We’re logging our Strava kilometres and checking in during our rest days to see how our friends are running.
We’re going to be out running anyways, so we might as well make it a race, even if we are still alone. If there’s a medal or a T-shirt on the line, we’re all in.
If I love running and you love running and I love you and you love me, then we might as well promise to marry each other at a race finish line. It’s no weirder than proposing at uShaka or on a random beach.
Call us weird, but we like a little adversity in our lives. Anyone can do something easy. Let’s try something hard. It might be painful in the moment, but the reward is oh so sweet.
Some people make playlists by mood or by genre. We make them based on bpm (beats per minute), because after all, those even splits aren’t just going to happen accidentally. We got to teach our body to stay on rhythm.
Running hour after hour after hour can be a bit tedious even if we love it. So you’ll find us downloading a few lengthy audiobooks to help pass the time.
People get tattoos celebrating all kinds of achievements, so why not a half-marathon, marathon, or ultra? Whether it’s the classic running shoe or the outline of a race course, we love a tattoo that says “I love to run.”
There is a cupboard in every runner’s house that is chucked full of water bottles. Big ones, small ones, ones that Velcro to your hands, ones that fit inside a belt. You got to stay hydrated, and we’ve got options as to how.
If you’re going on a 5km run and the Garmin watch says 4.97 km, then you’re not done. Run around the block, up and down the driveway, or around the dining room table—whatever it takes to hit the mark.
Car keys, jackets, water bottles, toilet paper, wallets. There are a lot of things to carry while you run, and sometimes it’s just easier to throw it all in a bush and hope no one steals them. May the running gods grant you protection!